Straw Dogs


Crime / Drama / Thriller

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 83%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 82%
IMDb Rating 7.5 10 54223

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Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 01, 2019 at 04:50 PM



Dustin Hoffman as David Sumner
David Warner as Henry Niles
Peter Vaughan as Tom Hedden
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
975.26 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 1 / 11
1.86 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 2 / 19

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ackstasis 8 / 10

"This is where I live. This is me. I will not allow violence against this house."

Sam Peckinpah's 'Straw Dogs' begins peacefully enough, offering only a few subtle hints of the graphic rape that would form the centerpiece of the film, and unbridled violence that would comprise the harrowing final act. David Sumner (a brilliant Dustin Hoffmann, 'All The President's Men'), an American mathematician, arrives in a quaint Cornwall town to be met with a certain level of hostility. He and his British wife, Amy (Susan George), have moved back into Amy's hometown to escape violence and crime in the United States. The irony of this motivation, even at the beginning of the film, is not lost.

David is very much an introvert. The job of a mathematician requires hours of quiet time to think and ponder, something he just can't get. His wife Amy is immature and disruptive, though we can't blame her; David has little time for her amidst all his mathematical calculations, and he treats her cries for attention as one treats a child, at one point telling her "you act like you're fourteen years old." As days go by, David and Susan face increasing levels of harassment from the local residents, most particularly the four young local men who have been employed to build their garage. The harassment begins quite modestly, with David – the outsider – becoming the butt of local jokes, whether it be because he has trouble trying to start his battered old car, or because he tries to enter it from the wrong side. On his first visit to the pub, David requests "any American brand of cigarettes," an unwise move if you wish to make friends amongst the fiercely patriotic country folk of Cornwall. He would later buy the stone-faced men around him a round of drinks, but doesn't sit around to enjoy it with them.

After a somewhat leisurely opening thirty minutes, we suddenly recognise that things are getting serious when Susan's cat goes missing. This event in itself is not particularly ominous, since the cat goes missing all the time. However, when David pulls on the light switch in his bedroom closet, he is understandably startled to find his strangled cat dangling limp from the cord. Despite his insistence that "it could have been anyone passing by," we already know who murdered "kitty." David vows to confront the four local men, endeavouring to "catch them off guard" and force a confession. However, given David's typically shy and pacifistic nature, he subsequently loses his courage and backs down.

David's "confrontation" invariably ends in his accepting an invitation to go hunting the following day. Whilst David takes pot-shots at the passing birds (with little result), one of the men, Charlie Venner (Del Henney), a former lover of Susan, drops into the house. Susan demands that he leave, but he casually casts aside her pleas and starts to kiss her. Susan resists at first but, shockingly, at times she appears to return his affection. Nevertheless, the rape scene is difficult to watch, and Peckinpah masterfully intercuts the quickly-cut scene with images of David standing obliviously amongst the scrub, still actively trying to shoot down ducks. Another of the men arrives at the home, and a second uncomfortable rape scene follows. Once it is all over, we find David finally shooting down a bird, only to find that it isn't a duck. Disappointed that he has made such a careless mistake, he drops the dead bird into a bush, no doubt assured that the worst thing to happen today was his inability to hunt. When he next sees Susan, she says nothing to him; and she never will.

When a mildly mentally-challenged local man, Henry Niles (David Warner, who was uncredited due to insurance complications), also a convicted child molester, accidentally murders a teenage girl who made advances towards him, the drunken father of the girl wants his retribution. Niles, stumbling through a heavy onset of fog, finds his way in front of David and Susan's car, and they bring him to their home until medical assistance can arrive. However, the murdered girl's father and the four men who had been building David's garage turn up outside his house with only one thing on their minds: getting inside that house and getting to Niles. The previously mild-mannered David, on the other hand, has alternative plans for these men.

The title of the film is drawn from a common translation of 'Tao Te Ching', an ancient Chinese philosophical treatise: "Heaven and Earth are impartial; they see the ten thousands things as straw dogs. The wise are impartial; they see the people as straw dogs." Many ancient Chinese ceremonies included the use of grass-woven dogs, which were revered and respected during the ritual, but afterward discarded and burnt. Perhaps the title symbolises David's underlying attitudes towards human lives as the men begin to invade his home – we are all straw dogs, made only to be destroyed.

Whilst David's moral reasoning for defending his home is to prevent Niles' bloody death at the hands of the mob, he appears to take grim satisfaction in murdering the intruders himself. Once all are good and dead (the most nasty mode of death involving a fully-sprung bear trap), David stands aside, a peculiar grin evident upon his face, exclaiming to himself, "Jesus. I got 'em all!" He is not disgusted or sickened by the deaths he has forced himself to orchestrate – he is actually satisfied, invigorated. He is proud of his achievements.

What could have possibly precipitated this sudden change in David's character? From a logical, mild-mannered, peaceful man arose a methodical killing machine, who shockingly takes pleasure in his multiple kills. Then we suddenly realise. These qualities were within David the entire time. Indeed, they subconsciously inhabit the hearts of all men. He just required the horrific circumstances of that night to bring about the alarming conversion.

Reviewed by Mark-574 9 / 10

Unfairly kicked around by its critics

This is probably one of the most offensive masterpieces ever made. There's no reason to argue with many of the objections against it, but the main criticism- that Hoffman is battling his Amy's rapists for sexual mastery of her- is unfair. Many of the film's critics don't seem to realize that what the audience learns about events is completely different from what Hoffman knows. He never learns that the villagers raped his wife; and he's never completely sure that Nyles, the villager he's defending, *didn't* rape a girl. He never realizes that the villagers are hypocrites for raping his wife and then hunting down Nyles as a "perverted animal." And he never realizes that his wife wants to throw Nyles out not because she's an immoral coward, but because, after being raped once, she doesn't want to defend an accused rapist. Amy is not the object of his fight, which is why he asks her if she wants to leave in the middle of it. She's as irrelevant to him as the villager he's defending. Hoffman's only concern is his house, which Peckinpah views as the symbol of his manhood. They're both under construction and assault by the villagers. When Hoffman has finally defended his house, he decides that he doesn't really know his way home; his manhood is worthless to him. It's difficult to understand why the film's critics view its climax as an expression of Peckinpah's supposed belief that women must be seized through violence. Hoffman never even knows that Amy's part of the contest, and even though we do, we're left with the impression he's lost her, not earned her, because of his battle.

Reviewed by itamarscomix 9 / 10

Years ahead of its time

Sam Pecknpah followed his extremely violent and critically acclaimed 'The Wild Bunch' with the even more violent 'Straw Dogs', which didn't sit as well with the critics; in fact, 'Straw Dogs' was shocking enough to be banned in the UK where it was filmed, although in the US it was released with an X rating. Critics attacked it as being overtly violent and sexual, and entirely missed the message Peckinpah was making. Three and a half decades later, though, it's easier to appreciate 'Straw Dogs' for the groundbreaking creation that it was, and its influence can clearly be seen in the works of such contemporary directors as David Fincher, David Lynch and Todd Solondz, among others.

With hindsight, it's hard to miss the fact that the sexual and violent content of 'Straw Dogs' isn't a whole lot more shocking than that of Kubrick's 'A Clockwork Orange', released that very same month. 'A Clockwork Orange' also created its own share of controversy, of course; yet somehow it was more rapidly recognized as the masterpiece it is by critics than 'Straw Dogs'. In part, I think that's due to the fact that while 'A Clockwork Orange' is an ultra-violent surreal fantasy from its very beginning, 'Straw Dogs' seems entirely innocent at first, like a very realistic and light-hearted drama, and the violence builds gradually throughout the film. That sense of realism, which 'A Clockwork Orange' never pretends to, makes 'Straw Dogs' much more difficult to take as an analogy; it cries out to be taken at face value, which makes it much more difficult to swallow.

Dustin Hoffman was never an actor to fear controversy, and 'Straw Dogs' catches him right at the peak of his best years as an actor, after 'The Graduate', 'Midnight Cowboy' and 'Little Big Man', and before 'Lenny', 'Papillon' and 'All The President's Men'. His performance is as amazing as in any of these, and again Hoffman proves his rare range, as well as his sensitivity; his performance carries the film to true excellence, and perhaps that's the other reason that the film was a bit more difficult to take than 'A Clockwork Orange' – to take nothing away from the wonderful Malcolm McDowell, what 'A Clockwork Orange' simply didn't have was a protagonist for the viewer to identify with, and therefore, like I stated before, it was easier to take as an analogy, and Alex functioned more as a symbolic and iconic character than as a real human being. David Sumner, on the other hand, is a remarkably realistic and convincing character, and one that is very easy to relate to, which makes the change that comes over him towards the end of the film all the more shocking. Again, it is that building up of tension that makes 'Straw Dogs' such a powerful experience.

'Straw Dogs' is a film that creates controversy and disagreements, and so it should. It's easy to create controversy with sex and violence; but many years later that initial shock fades, and the real test is whether or not the film stands the trial of time and still manages to shock and engross. Like 'A Clockwork Orange', 'Straw Dogs' stands that test. Love it or hate it, it's hard to deny that it's an important and influential film, and it's essential viewing for any film lover.

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